Online Program

Exploring the public health nurse's role in establishing a state-level public health system for children's vision

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Laura Anderko, PhD, RN, School of Nursing & Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

M. Kathleen Murphy, DNP, RN, FNP-BC, NEA-BC, UTMB School of Nursing, University of Texas Medical Branch-School of Nursing, Galveston, TX
Kira Baldonado, National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health, Prevent Blindness, Chicago, IL
The Healthy People 2020 objectives include children’s vision and eye health as a national priority and the Affordable Care Act requires insurance plans to offer pediatric vision services. Early vision screening and follow-up to care is necessary to detect and initiate treatment of vision problems and eye diseases that can lead to life-long health problems. Research has shown that infants and young children with visual impairment are more likely to experience developmental delays. There is little consensus among experts in children’s vision health in regards to standards guiding the frequency of screening, as well as referral or follow up criteria. Further contributing to the challenges of achieving children’s eye health is the lack of public health surveillance standards. The development of a more uniform approach to children’s vision health nationally is critically needed. Prevent Blindness, with support from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, established the National Center for Children’s Vision and Eye Health (NCCVEH) to address the need for a systems-level approach to children’s vision.  NCCVEH convened a National Expert Panel to develop evidence-based recommendations for children’s vision and eye health which included a) vision screening procedures for children ages 3 through 5 years old, b) integration of child-level vision health data into state health information systems (e.g., state immunization information systems), and c) establishment of program performance measures for children’s vision and eye health. Public health nurses will be essential to providing the leadership needed to successfully integrate recommendations at the state and local levels.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Public health or related nursing
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
List 3 reasons that a public health system for children’s vision is needed at the state level Describe 3 characteristics of an integrated health information system that can support vision screening and outcome data Describe 2 resources that can lead to improved uniformity in vision screening at the state level Discuss the potential role of the public health nurse in operationalizing children’s vision and eye health recommendations.

Keyword(s): Health Promotion and Education, Vision Care

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I hold the Robert and Kathleen Scanlon Chair in Values Based Health Care at Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies. I am an educator in the fields of epidemiology, public health and environmental health. I serve as a member of the Regional III Health Equity Council for HHS, chairman of the Alliance of Nurses for a Healthy Environment, and am incoming Chair for the National Center for Children's Vision and Eye Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.